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Rates of new-onset type 2 diabetes increased by 62% and type 1 diabetes by 17% among US youth after the COVID-19 pandemic began, with a significant rise observed in Black and Hispanic populations, according to a study in JAMA Network Open. The study, conducted by Kaiser Permanente researchers, tracked diabetes rates among individuals 0 to 19 years old with no prior diabetes history from January 2016 to December 2021. The impact was particularly pronounced in: kids 10 to 19 years old (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.17); boys (IRR, 1.18); and Hispanic patients (IRR, 1.21).

Of note: With stay-at-home habits during the pandemic, it stands to reason kids’ sedentary behavior and other stressors may have resulted in weight gain, increasing the risk for diabetes. Authors also said that binding of the SARS coronavirus to its receptor damages islets and can cause acute diabetes, according to literature.

Diabetes Among Kids Increased Since the Pandemic